Summer Sounds: Steel Drums

Originally published on July 1, 2011 5:07 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

There is something seasonal in the air: summer sounds.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUMMERTIME, SUMMERTIME")

THE JAMIES: (Singing) It's summertime.

LILA SHEON: My name is Lila Sheon, and I'm 14-year-old girl living in a Washington, D.C. neighborhood called Petworth. My community is very diverse, and it's filled with many immigrants from several islands, especially Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. When I think of what sound signals summer for me, my mind immediately jumps to the Pan Jammers, a 20-or-so piece steel drum band that practices at night in the alley not too far from my house.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHEON: Our house is filled with their cheerful island beat, and we can't help but stop everything we're doing and listen.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHEON: I'm constantly amazed at how nothing can bring people together quite like music, and nothing gives our community more pride than the Pan Jammers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHEON: Summer would not be the same without them.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: An urban sound transplanted from the islands, from our listener Lila Sheon, for our series Summer Sounds.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.